Two lecturers suspended over homophobic taunts

Blade Nzimande says “Constitution is absolutely clear” on discrimination

Photo of a building

Coastal College has supended two lecturers for taunting a student for being gay. Photo: supplied

By Nompendulo Ngubane

21 February 2017

Two lecturers who allegedly mocked a 20-year-old gay student Bheka Khanyile from Coastal College in Umlazi Unit BB in Durban have been suspended. Khanyile was kicked out of class because he is gay.

Principal of the college Sibhanana Ndlovu condemned the lecturers’ behaviour. He said they had been suspended on full pay pending a hearing. “The lecturers have been given seven days to attain reasons as to why the college should reverse the suspension,” Ndlovu said in a statement.

Khanyile, a second-year Office Administration student, was kicked out of class by his Life Orientation teacher. He said he was laughed at and mocked in front of other students as well as some of the cleaning employees at the college.

The incident was also condemned by the Minister for Higher Education Blade Nzimande during his visit to Umgungundlovu TVET College last week. Nzimande said he was not aware of the incident, but it is illegal for a lecturer to act in that manner. “Our constitution is absolutely clear. There shall be no discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation. It’s against the constitution,” he said.